“Jesus said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.”- Mark 16:15-16
ALL CAPS! As much as it can be annoying when someone writes a word or sentence with all caps in a text or email, the bottom line to their boisterous tone is the desire to communicate something emphatically, that is inescapable to the reader.
There are certain worship and faith expressions in the Church that we have allowed to lose their substance and importance. The partaking of communion can feel rushed in a service; prayer is missing in God’s house; and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit get shelved in the desire to keep things comfortable, controlled, and concise. We need a return to investing time and teaching, practice and priority, obedience and observation to these God ordained activities. In Philippians 4:9 the apostle Paul writes, “Whatever you have learned or received from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” One area that need our attention and active response is Water Baptism.
Baptism is a powerful and symbolic step of one’s following Jesus Christ. Baptism was the message of the first New Testament voice, John the Baptist: Mark 1:4, “And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Baptism was a necessary act for Jesus before entering into His public and miracle working mission: Matthew 3:15, “Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Baptism was part of the assignment given to the disciples at Jesus’ Great Commission: Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Baptism was a seal of one’s salvation decision on the day the Church was birthed: Acts 2:41, “Those who accepted His message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”
There is much more I could share about the significance of baptism (e.g., aligning us with the death and resurrection of Jesus), BUT FOR NOW I want to invite you to church this Saturday (March 25th) at 5 pm as I will be bringing an entire message on Baptism’s impact to set us walking on a forever-new and joy-filled course (our kids and youth will be taught it on Saturday too). Romans 6:4 says, “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
Get ready for Saturday, pray about being baptized, and for those who have already taken the plunge, keep exercising the life-power of Jesus flowing deep within and through you!